While I was 23 years old, my life changed in ways I never imagined possible. I have learned more about myself in the past 365 days than I have in the rest of my days combined. Seriously monumental self growth and discovery!
Reflecting back on my 23rd year brought to me some favorites: favorite moments, favorite things, and favorite songs. Here's what I've come up with (in no particular order):
23 FAVORITE MOMENTS
- Swearing in as a Peace Corps Volunteer
- First night sleeping in my new home
- Running a 5K with other Peace Corps Volunteers in Shakawe
- Watching "Now & Then" with Dom, Kelly & Jvani while drinking homemade sangria
- Receiving a bracelet with my name woven into it
- Wearing a traditional Tswana dress to my aunt's wedding
- Kissing Michael at the top of the Eiffel Tower
- Hugging my parents for the first time in ten months
- Toasting to one year of service and celebrating in the Tuli Block with my Bots 12 training group
- My cat surviving his terrible illness
- Watching baby Ayanda take her first steps and learn to say my name, Boitshepo
- Taking my first bucket bath
- Vacation in northern Botswana: Game drive to see all the best African animals, Victoria Falls, mokoro ride in the Okavango Delta
- Listening to hippos grunting and crickets chirping at night along the Okavango river
- Laying beneath the African night sky, watching shooting stars
- Singing along to "Wagon Wheel" by Old Crow Medicine Show with other Peace Corps Volunteers
- Visiting patients in the village for home based care
- Weighing babies in the child welfare clinic
- Watching children diligently color the wall for the world map project
- Jumping around with the kids in the rain that FINALLY came to Kang, singing "Pula, pula, go disa!"
- Evening walks with my family
- Living with my host family in Kanye for two months and learning about Tswana culture
- Exploring Tsodillo hills
23 FAVORITE THINGS
- Skype- thank goodness for staying in touch!
- Coffee mug- homemade by Jan's son
- Kibi cat- my furry lil' companion
- Paraffin lamp- light!
- Be mobile modem- how I connect to the internet
- The story/my bible- impossible for me to survive without them!
- Nike + - great for rural runs
- Incense holder- part of my zen zone
- Journal- contains all my sweetest memories of service
- Fan- enough said. I live in a desert.
- Ice pops- see above.
- Big sunglasses- fun and necessary!
- Nook- saves me from boredom
- Snail mail/stamps- cheers me up on my down days
- Camera-captures all the memories I'll cherish for the rest of my life
- Electric strip- my life line at my house for my fridge & computer (still no electricity in my house)
- Tan line on my feet- my feet are DARK. I walk a lot.
- Healthy nails-my nails are super healthy here for some reason. No more biting them!
- Head bands/bandanas- stylish ways to disguise the oily mess of hair.
- Umbrella- sun protection/life saving
- Recipe cards-adorable ways to save new dishes
- Head lamp-my side kick
- Dr. Seuss Quote: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”
- Beautiful Things by Gunger
- I Will Follow You by Chris Tomlin
- 3 a.m. by Gregory Alan Isakov
- The Atlas by Kristin Allen Zito
- Cats & Dogs by The Head and the Heart
- Not With Haste by Mumford & Sons
- Better People by Xavier Rudd
- I'm Not Who I Was by Brandon Heath
- Heart of Life by John Mayer
- No Envy, No Fear by Joshua Radin
- Little Bitty Pretty Thing by Thurston Harris
- Via Orlando Remake by DJ Vetkuk vs Mahoota feat. Dr. Maling
- Wildflowers by Tom Petty
- Breathe by Alexi Murdoch
- All This Time by Britt Nicole
- Asleep on a Train by Radical Face
- Adventures in Solitude by The New Pornographers
- Why Can't We by Asa
- Just Breathe by Pearl Jam
- Just One by Blind Pilot
- Beautiful Onyinye by P-Square
- All My Days by Alexi Murdoch
- Lie Low by Plumb
23 was remarkable & I'm so thankful to spend my 24th year in Botswana too. Looking forward to all I will learn and experience!
Love & Light,